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Australian passengers turn to tech for travel plans and new experiences

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Written by editor

HOBART, Australia – A new survey that examines the emotions and types of airline travelers reveals that Australian passengers are an interesting mix of ‘careful planners’ and ‘open-minded adve

HOBART, Australia – A new survey that examines the emotions and types of airline travelers reveals that Australian passengers are an interesting mix of ‘careful planners’ and ‘open-minded adventurers’ who all look to technology to provide the best travel experience.

This year for the first time, the annual global survey, conducted by air transport IT provider SITA, took a look at air travelers in Australia to identify a number of common profiles, as well as to capture their emotions and the impact of technology at different stages of their journey. Passengers traveling through seven major international airports across Australia, representing 80% of the country’s passenger traffic, were surveyed and four different personas were identified:

• Independent and hyper-connected

• Pampered

• Careful Planner

• Open-minded adventurer

Though all four personas were visible among the Australian respondents two in particular stood out – 60% identified themselves as ‘Careful Planners’ and 20% as ‘Open-minded Adventurers’.

The ‘Careful Planner’ appreciates the control and convenience provided by self-service technologies. They are happy to use technology for the planning stage and throughout the journey. However, they like to arrive early at the airport carrying printed documents and welcome interaction with airline agents to confirm everything is on track and going to plan. The ‘Open-minded Adventurers’ are excited by the prospect of their journey. They tend to be tech-savvy people, keen to use technology for travel-related tasks and early adopters of new mobile services, but frustrated by a lack of integration which required using multiple apps to manage different parts of their trip.

Speaking at the Australian Airports Association National Conference in Hobart, Ilya Gutlin, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “Our survey shows that 80% of Australians had a positive experience throughout their last trip and technology is helping. Airlines and airports can be assured that passengers are happy to use self-service. Mobile check-in is an outstanding example, 100% of passengers who used their mobile for check-in had a positive experience in contrast to 82% who checked in at a counter.

“At SITA we are working with the industry in Australia and encouraging airlines and airports to implement strategies that accelerate adoption of technology in travel. Our survey shows that passengers are happy to use these services. Offering Australian passengers efficient self-service is an essential element of overall efforts to improve customer satisfaction and the end-to-end passenger experience.”

Though the survey results indicate that Australians are happy to use technology during their journey overall they are behind the curve in adoption. One area however, where Australia is out in front is in the adoption of self-service bag drop with 26% of domestic passengers processing their bag themselves rather than going to an airport counter – well ahead of the 20% global average.

Looking to the future, it is clear that Australians want to use more self-service and adoption of mobile services in particular is expected to increase dramatically. When asked about their next flight, more Australians expect to use their mobile devices for travel-related services, in fact, 11% intend to use mobile check-in for their next flight, nearly three times the current usage rate of 4%.